Library advocacy – putting the horse before the cart

Great slide share and post from Jennifer Lagarde, Rock Star Advocacy: Proving Your Worth In Tough Times.  Advocacy must stem from the desire to get a better deal for the folk who use your library – not to protect your patch, or to leverage better pay and conditions. Jennifer raises an excellent point.  Too often, our desire to advocate for the library and its worth becomes entangled with the fight for professional recognition and improved pay and conditions.  We cannot hope for the latter unless we first succeed in demonstrating the value we add to student learning outcomes. So, horse before cart.

Horse:  First, prove your worth by supporting and enhancing student achievement, gather the data to prove it, communicate the value that you add to your community, and ensure that everyone within reach understands the difference you make.

Cart:  If it follows the horse, one hopes that advocating for your survival becomes unnecessary, and negotiating for improved pay and conditions will be better received because the evidence of your professional worth is clear and irrefutable, widely understood, and valued.

Thanks Jennifer, and to Carole Gardiner for sending me the signpost.

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